Saturday , 23 March 2019


Divine Diwa


By Mini Ribeiro
It is always a pleasure to be back in Goa, whether for work or a holiday. Even work becomes pleasure in Goa. But yes, one looks for rest and repose when in Goa, after all getting away from Mumbai can be a real treat at times. 
Alila Diwa Goa seemed the perfect solution. It was my first visit to the Diwa Club and I was excited. It spelt elegance and sophistication from word go. The warm and affable staff welcomed us and made us feel at home. 
The Diwa Club is situated within Alila Diwa Goa in Majorda, South Goa, which boasts of swaying palms, white sands, sparkling waters, emerald green paddy fields and eternally clement weather.
The serene surroundings were like balm to my tired nerves. The twenty seven Diwa Rooms were all well-appointed. A king-size bed, private balcony and a beautifully designed bathroom with personalised therapeutic baths is on offer. There is also a walk-in wardrobe, separate work space, MyBar, a media hub, LED TV’s and WiFi.
The Diwa Suites add another dimension to luxury, offering a unique combination of six leisure, comfort and customised living. The two Two-Bedroom Suites maximise space and privacy for a perfect family retreat. You can’t ask for more?
Settled in our Owner’s Den, a la penthouse, we were already relaxed. We discovered the swimming pool later. It is Diwa Club’s own separate pool with an open – air Jacuzzi and an adjoining restaurant – Bistro serving all day breakfast. Luxury personified. 
Dining at the Bistro was a delight. The homemade specialties recommended by the chef were perfect for our palate. Guests can enjoy an all-day breakfast and a menu featuring fresh seasonal delicacies too. However, we opted for Vivo, the live kitchen restaurant open 24 hours. Breakfast there was a sumptuous spread. For dinner, Bistro transforms itself into a California-French brasserie with Mediterranean overtones showcasing innovative Bistro style dishes.
One cannot visit Alila Diwa and not savour the delicacies prepared by Chef Edia Cotta at Spice Studio. Showcasing Indian cuisine from the Northwest Frontier, Awadh and Hyderabad, South East Coast and Gorgeous Goa, it takes you on a culinary journey that is unparalleled. 
For those who enjoy their drinks, The Edge Bar and Lounge, Open from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. is an option as well.  
Lose yourself in a world of sheer self-indulgence at Spa Alila. Revel in an array of treatments and therapies at the hands of expert staff and emerge completely relaxed and energised from the experience.
Spa Alila, provides unique treatments, blending ancient Asian and Ayurveda healing techniques with age-old beauty recipes featuring the curative benefits of fresh, natural and quality ingredients. Therapists are trained in anatomical physiology, massage and meditation. They combine their knowledge with the most essential element - warm, genuine care that flows from the heart through the hands, to stimulate, rejuvenate, balance and relax both mind and body.
If you are looking at further relaxation, then Spa Alila is the answer. With two double treatment rooms, two Ayurveda rooms and five single treatment rooms, each equipped with individual steam, chilled shower and outdoor patio with day beds, this Spa is a haven of relaxation. The other facilities are a Yoga Centre, Beauty Salon and Fitness Centre, featuring state-of-the-art Technogym equipment.
The pampering does not end there. The Diwa Club entitles you to an in-room check-in service, all-day breakfast at Bistro, complimentary airport transfers, personalised menu for your dining options at Bistro, complimentary daily seasonal fruit platter upon request, express check-out service, all day fun at the Kid’s Club and Activity Centre and more. 
Diwa Club spoils and pampers you thoroughly. It was a memorable experience and I can’t wait to be back again.
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The Science Behind Dog Training


By Elizabeth Abraham
Behaviorism is concerned with the observable behavior of people and animals, not with unobservable events that take place in their minds (thoughts or beliefs).  Specifically behaviourism focuses on how learning takes place: a change in external behaviour achieved through a large amount of repetition of desired actions, the reward of good habits and the discouragement of bad habits. There are two ways learning can take place: reflexive or intentional. 
Animals (and people) can associate an action, event, place, person, or object with a consequence, whether pleasant or unpleasant. The more a certain event or environment is paired with a particular consequence, the stronger is the association. This type of learning is called “Classical Conditioning” and represents reflexive or automatic behaviour. The most famous instance of this is Ivan Pavlov’s experiment in which the dog was presented with a stimulus such as a light or a sound, and then food was placed in the dog’s mouth. After a few repetitions of this sequence, the light or sound by itself caused the dog to salivate. 
“Operant Conditioning” deals with voluntary behaviour or operant behaviour. Operant behavior operates on the environment and is maintained by its consequences. When an animal intentionally performs a behavior in order to bring about a desired consequence, they are learning in a way through “operant conditioning”. Operant conditioning is used by all modern trainers to train not just dogs, but also, chickens, pigeons, rats, cats, parrots, dolphins, seals, killer whales, chimpanzees, orangutans, and a whole lot of other animals.
The core tools of operant conditioning are Reinforcement and Punishment. With relation to training, these two words have very specific definitions different from their colloquial use. “Reinforcement” is any consequence which has the effect of increasing a behavior. “Punishment” is any consequence which has the effect of reducing a behavior. It is the learner who decides whether something is reinforcing or a punishing, not the trainer.   
Positive Reinforcement is when we add a [desirable] consequence to increase the frequency of behavior. For example, a dog sits and gets reinforced with praise and a treat. You work for 30 days and are reinforced with a pay check. Negative Reinforcement is when we remove an [aversive or unpleasant] consequence to increase the frequency of behavior. For example, your alarm clock continues to ring until you get up to turn it off - the behavior of getting up to turn off the alarm clock has been negatively reinforced. Your wife nags you until you pay the bills – the behaviour of paying bills on time has been negatively reinforced. 
Positive Punishment is when we add an [aversive or unpleasant] consequence which will reduce the frequency of behavior. Hitting, shouting, or tugging on the leash can be examples of positive punishment. Negative Punishment is when we remove a [desirable] consequence to reduce the frequency of behavior. For example, if a dog jumps on a person to greet them, and the person walks away when the dog jumps, negative punishment has been employed - that person is removing their attention to reduce the frequency of jumping in the future. 
Extinction is the gradual disappearance of a behavior when it stops being reinforced. For example, if a dog begs at the dinner table because he gets reinforced with occasional food scraps. But if the food scraps are stopped, he will eventually stop the behavior. The behavior will be extinguished. 
Modern training techniques heavily make use positive reinforcement whereas traditional trainers use punishment-based methods. Increasingly, trainers are adopting positive reinforcement training methods because it is far more effective and more humane. There is no justification for inflicting pain to train an animal, however mild it might be. A punishment-trained dog, when put in a new situation is not sure what to do and is afraid he will receive punishment, even if it is mild. Dogs just stop performing and learning slows down or stops. 
The difference between an animal that behaves with intention, rather than by habit, is vast. With positive reinforcement, animals try to learn new behaviours. They remember behaviours even years later because they were aware of them as they learned them, rather than acquiring them without awareness. They develop confidence because they have control over the consequences of their actions. They are enthusiastic because they expect those consequences to be pleasurable.
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From Jaffna to Panelim


By Maria de Lourdes Bravo da Costa Rodrigues
Just before the old church of Sao Pedro, towards the right on the road leading to Old Goa from Ribandar, one can see a small chapel dedicated to Nossa Senhora de Piedade. Why is this chapel so important and has many devotees visiting it? In this chapel there is a Statue of Our Lady which originally belonged to a Church in Jaffna. The Chapel at Panelim is very old and the exact date of its construction has not been mentioned by Rev Gomes Catao. It has three altars and one of them is dedicated to Our Lady of Miracles.
Fr Planton Faria tells us that one day in Jaffna a Franciscan Monk, Fr Francisco do Santo Antonio took a log with the intention of making a statue of St Anthony. The idea was later abandoned and it was decided that a statue of Our Lady of Victory would be made. Anacoti, a sculptor was entrusted with the work who readily agreed.
It is said that even before the statue was complete it started working miracles, right from the initial stage even before Anacoti had given expression and shape to the fingers.
Once on May 25, 1614, while Anacoti was working on the statue, Engabão, his non-catholic friend walked in and they were busy talking. Unmindfully, Engabão stepped on the half made statue and a miracle occurred when he was hurled on the ground with great force. Engabão, ashamed and embarrassed ventured to repeat the act, only to be punished more severely. This time he was flung so vigorously that he became unconscious and found his clothes all tattered. This phenomenon occurred in the presence of a few other people.
Another miracle took place when Anacoti’s daughter Angea, was eating pan and she spat and some of it sprayed on the statue unintentionally. The father admonished the girl and asked her to wipe the statue. However, when she touched the statue to wipe it she was thrown on the floor, unconscious. When the news of these two phenomena spread around, people started visiting Anacoti’s house to pray for intercession in their favour. A disabled, lame person was totally cured and began to walk. Another girl was cured of her eye disease.
People thronged to Anacoti’s house and he who had witnessed the miracles, was longing to hand over the statue to the church, because he was scared to continue keeping it at home. So he implored the authorities to take it to the church. The statue of Our Lady was finally shifted on July 24, 1614 to the Church of Our Lady of Victory in a grand and majestic procession. It was carried on a beautifully decorated palanquin by the members of the solidarity of Our Lady of Victory. It was placed on a beautifully decorated table. Thousands of people gathered around the statue and it was decided then that it would be named Our Lady of Miracles, as their requests were granted and many miracles performed. The statue was formally installed on the altar where she was kept till a new church dedicated to Our Lady of Miracles was constructed and completed.
The task of building a new church was left to Fr Pedro de Bitancor who was intelligent and hard working. The new church was completed and efforts were made to shift the statue to the church on September 8, 1622. However, the Portuguese decided to shift the statue on the occasion of the feast of Our Lady of Victory which they solemnised on the feast day of Apostles Simon and Judas Tadeu. The devotion to Our Lady continued with thousands pleading with her till June 24, 1658.
What happened on this day? The Dutch invaded Jaffna to end the monopoly of the Portuguese who were driven out from there, after having dominated for a number of years. How did this statue reach Goa from Jaffna? 
The Dutch arrested all the Portuguese men and women and imprisoned them. Later, after thorough enquiry they were expelled from the City and were again imprisoned in a place called Batavia. Fortunately they could take the image of Our Lady away with them. When peace returned, the image was brought to Goa. The statue arrived in Goa on November 16, 1661. From the jetty on the Mandovi River, it was carried with great pomp and solemnity to the Convent of St Francis of Assisi. With this solemnity and the aim of continuing the devotion to her, the Sodality of Our Lady of Miracles was established.
When the monks were driven out by the Portuguese, this image was brought to the Church of Chagas de Jesus (Wounds of Christ) at the arsenal at Panelim. From this church it was again moved to the chapel of Our Lady of Piedade, where it is kept. However, due to insecurity and apprehension that the statue may be robbed it was taken and kept in the Church of Sao Pedro, and during the Novena and the feast days it is brought every day to the chapel for veneration. Every year on the first Sunday of May, the parishioners of Sao Pedro celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Miracles in this Chapel. This year on May 5, the high mass will be held at 8.30 a.m. and the feast is celebrated by Mr Eusebio Rodrigues of Marietta, Panaji, who had made a vow when he met with an accident and was seriously injured.
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Vittu Loses his Key


BY A N Mahambro | Translated by José Lourenço
When Bhau Bandodkar became the Chief Minister of Goa, Vittu said – this is really not a good thing, okay? Vittu was talking about his key. You see, about that same time, his key got lost. Altogether Vittu had fourteen keys. The account of those keys was as below:
1 Of the front door
1 Of the outer room
3 Of the inner rooms
2 Of the drawers of the table
2 Of the drawers of the cabinet
1 Of the cash box
1 Oof the almirah
2 Of the trunks
1 Of the safe locker
Out of these, the key to the almirah would get lost every day. The keys of the outer room, the table drawers and the trunks would get lost once every eight to fifteen days and the keys of the cabinet drawers would always disappear twice every three months. The one that never got lost was the key of the safe. And this time that very key got lost.
Even otherwise, Vittu is a bit feeble. A quarter less than twelve, as they say. If he keeps a thing somewhere, he can never recall it. And how tiny that key is! As small as a germ’s finger. If it got lost, how would it ever be found!
As soon as the key got lost, Vittu searched and searched the house. First he searched the outer room. He searched the table there and the drawers of the table. He searched the chairs. He searched the nails on the wall and the photo frames on the nails. He searched the storeroom. And the little stool there. Then he searched the three inner rooms. And the drawers of the cabinet. He searched the almirah. And the clothes in the almirah. He searched the pockets of the shirts and the trousers. Then he searched the kitchen. The pots, the pans, the vessels, the cups, the plates, the bowls, the lids, behind the hearth, the niches – he searched everywhere. He searched the ladder to the attic. And the attic. He searched the bedroom. The cots in the room and the mattresses on the cots, the bed sheets, the pillows, the pillow covers – everything.
After searching everything, Vittu told his wife – the key is lost. His wife felt bad. She went and searched all the places that Vittu had already searched. Then Vittu told his mother – the key is lost. She rose and searched all the places that Vittu and Vittu’s wife had already searched.
Vittu felt sorry for his mother. His mother felt sorry for him. Vittu’s wife felt sorry for both Vittu and his mother. Vittu had two sons. Pattu and Tittu. When the key was lost, Pattu was singing and Tittu was jumping around. Vittu said to Pattu – What bloody fellows you are!
Pattu said – What happened?
The key is lost.
What shall I do?
Then we will find it?
Tittu heard that. Both of them sat down and began crying. Vittu snapped – What are you singing! When Pattu and Tittu cried it sounded like they were singing. Their singing sounded like they were crying. When Vittu yelled at them, they shut up.
Vittu’s wife told one of the neighbours about the lost key. That neighbour told a second neighbour. The second told the third. The third told the fourth. The fourth told a fifth. Vittu’s mother told Shenvtu’s mother and Shantu’s mother-in-law. Then Shenvtu’s mother told Shenvtu’s father and Shenvtu’s father told Shantu’s father. Shantu’s father told Shantu’s father-in-law and Shantu’s father-in-law told Shantu’s mother. Pattu and Tittu told the same thing to their friends Tiblu and Giblu. Then this fellow told that and that told this and they told them and as this went on the news spread everywhere.
Then Shinnu, Kattu, Dulgo, Krushnnem, Tirvinn, Bhagi, Anton, Kushtta, Caitan, Marie, Damiao, Filsu, Ramakant, Durgem, Shenvtu, Abolem, Souza, Fernand, Naik, Kurado, Mashnnem, Fondo, all of them came over to Vittu’s place. Out of these, Tirvinn, Bhagi, Marie and Abolem came to visit Vittu’s wife. She was nine months pregnant.
Those who had come to inquire into the matter of the key asked Vittu how he had lost the key. And Vittu told them that in this way and that way the key was lost, adding some tamarind and chilly to his story. He told each visitor – yesterday I woke up well, had tea quite well, ate and drank very well, had bath well, went out quite well, returned home well, ate and drank and slept well, today morning I woke up well, had tea quite well, had bath and washed up well, heard the news of Bandodkar becoming Chief Minister very well and then suddenly go to see...
When Vittu’s brother-in-law came with his wife, that’s Vittu’s sister, to Vittu’s house, Vittu’s wife was crying that her belly was paining. The brother-in-law and his wife enquired into her pain. Vittu’s wife kept crying. Vittu’s mother said – I had told Vittu to take proper care of her. But the fool didn’t take it seriously. He is always dithering here and there.
Maybe he didn’t want a child so soon, the brother-in-law wondered.
But when did she start hurting like this? Vittu’s sister asked the mother.
My dear, what to tell you, yesterday morning both of us woke up well, ate well, had bath quite well, slept well, woke up today morning very well, turned on the radio nicely, heard the news of Bandodkar becoming Chief Minister very well, and just then Vittu came out and said to me – Mother, something bad has happened. My heart sank and I jumped in fright. You see, she had just entered her ninth month. I cried out – arre, what happened! Vittu said – the key is lost. And just then this pain started…
The brother-in-law and his wife just left the matter at that and left.
All day, people kept visiting. When the men came, Vittu would tell them the same story, repeating it in the same way. When the women came, Vittu’s mother would tell them her same story, repeating it in the same way. Vitu’s wife would see who had come and accordingly sit and cry of belly pain.
Evening fell. Vittu went to the temple. Prayers were being sung. Hardas was saying in local Marathi – What to tell you, O Lord, this world is very complicad. When what will happen to anyone can’t be said anymore. Today someone’s key gets lost, tomorrow his wife gets lost, the next day his kids get lost, the day after that he himself gets lost…which is why Sant Tukaram Maharaj says, wherever you go, you are with me…
Vittu got irritated. The key is lost, fine…what if I get lost tomorrow?…what if my wife is lost tomorrow? He got up. Fell at God’s feet. He told the bhat to make a divine request. The priest asked him – these days what is costlier, coconut or sugar?
Vittu said – sugar.
Then the priest said – O God, today this Vittu has specially come to your feet. Please make him find that key which he has lost. Then he will offer you his weight in sugar, this is his vow. The priest told Vittu, God will surely do your work. If he doesn’t do it, my brother will do it.  
The priest’s brother was an astrologer. Vittu met him. After listening to the whole story, he asked Vittu – have you brought its horoscope?
Whose horoscope?
The key’s horoscope.
No. I haven’t had it done.
Then how will we know where it has gone?
Vittu kept quiet.
When was the key made?
Five years back.
Which month?
The locksmith gave me the key at ten in the morning.
The astrologer took down the details of the height, weight, shape and colour of the key in great detail. Then he prepared the horoscope of the key. He peered all over it for a long time. He counted something on his fingers. Then he looked up to gaze heavenwards. (Was he studying the horoscopes of the stars, perhaps?) And then he said – Your key is moving to the south.
But it does not have legs. How will it walk, asked Vittu impatiently.
Don’t ask useless questions.
I am not asking useless questions. But tell me one thing, right now is my key in my backyard? Or is it near the village ferry? Is it near the Canacona market? Or is it near the Vivekanand memorial in Kanyakumari?
I haven’t understood your question.
You said my key is travelling south. Which south? Of my house? South of the village? Of Goa? Or of India?
If I tell you all these things, then what is left of my astrology?
At that moment the priest from the temple appeared there and he said to Vittu – For ten rupees my brother does not tell more than this.
Vittu cursed him and paid him ten rupees. And he went home. Sat down to eat. Just then the door bell rang. A policeman walked in.
Is your key lost? He asked Vittu.
Yes. Who told you? Vittu asked.
Your neighbour.
You heard that and you came here?
If we don’t do these works, who will do them? Police are at the service of the people. You tell us what is to be done and we do them.
Vittu kept looking at the policeman for a good two minutes. He wondered how this righteous cop from Ram Rajya ever reached his place.
Alright, so how will I get my key? Vittu asked him.
File a complaint.
Saying what?
That someone has stolen your key. If you suspect anyone, put down their names as well.
But my key is lost. I don’t feel anyone has stolen it.
If that key is lost, it’s not our business to find it. If anyone has stolen it, it is our duty to catch the thief.
Alright, if I file the complaint, will I get my key?
It is our job to make efforts. How can we tell whether we will find or not find it? These days even if a minister goes stealing around, we cannot say for sure we will catch him.
He was a policeman for certain, but he spoke like a lawyer. Vittu wrote down the complaint in police language. And once again he asked the cop:
Who informed you that my key was lost? Which neighbour?
That is not important. It is more important to find the lost key, said the policeman as he left.
By this time, Vittu was quite exhausted. He went and lay on the cot. Screw the whole world, he thought, and slept soundly.
The next morning Vittu rose and sat on his porch, deep in thought. Just then he saw someone on the road. He looked like Sukrata and spoke like Brahmadeva. As soon as he spotted Vittu, he said –
I heard your key is lost?
You will find it.
How is that going to happen?
Any lost item is always found if searched for properly.
The loss of a key is an event. There is a cause for every event. No cause, no event. An event does not necessarily have only one cause. There can be more than one.
We must seek out these causes.
After that will I find my key?
You will understand  how and why the key got lost.
What’s the use of understanding why the key got lost?
Understanding will help you search better.
But why this double trouble? Instead of searching for the causes, I am searching for the key itself.
You will not find it.
Why is that?
Even if you find it, you will put me in trouble.
If you find the key without finding the reasons first, I will then have to find the reasons for your finding the key in such a way.
Alright, then you only tell me how to find the reasons.
First you tell me, what happened when you lost your key?
I don’t know. You tell me.
When your key got lost, the key that was there now no longer is there. Hence you could no longer find it. The reasons for it no longer being there can be many. For example:
1 You cannot remember where you kept the key, hence you can’t find it.
2 You remember where you kept the key, but you have not really kept the key there, hence you cannot find it.
3 You remember where you kept the key, but the key is not there, hence you can’t find it.
4 The key is where you have kept it, but you can’t remember that place, hence you can’t find it.
5 From the place where you kept the key, someone has taken it and hasn’t replaced it, hence you can’t find it.
6 From the place where you kept the key, someone has taken it and he doesn’t remember where he has kept it, hence you cannot find it.
Vittu felt this peculiar man was spinning yarns and tangling everything up like a politician…Vittu told him, I will find all the rest of the reasons, thank you. If you hang around here anymore, you will screw up my head. And then I will have to seek the reasons for my head getting screwed.
After the man had left, Vittu bathed and dressed and at around ten or ten-thirty, he went to the Palacio (the Secretariat). He met the Chief Minister’s personal assistant and told him the entire story and also told him he wanted to meet the Chief Minister. The PA told him that the Chief Minister was completely busy for the next one and half months. That all the appointments had been quickly taken up as soon as he had become the Chief Minister the previous day.
Now what shall I do, asked Vittu.
Go to Bhau’s house, he was told.
The next day Vittu went to Bhau’s house. There was a crowd of people there. But as soon as Bhau saw him he took him in before anyone else and asked him what work he had come for. Vittu told him everything about the key. He told him about the police complaint as well and that they didn’t seem to take the matter seriously enough.
So you want me to tell the police to look for your key? Don’t they have other work to do? Bhau scolded him.
No no…that was a v..very v..valuable k..k..key, Vittu said timidly.
So how valuable is it?
The cost of that key?
I don’t know.
Bhau rose and went inside. Vittu wondered if he had gotten angry. After a moment Bhau returned and put a fistful of notes into Vittu’s hand, saying – Take this money. Make a new key.
Vittu came home and sat down to count the notes that Bhau had given him. To his surprise, the money that Bhau had given him was enough to make even a golden key.
The original Konkani version of this story appeared in Samkaleen Konkani Lagukatha (Contemporary Konkani Short Stories) edited by Pundalik Narayan Naik, published by National Book Trust, New Delhi, 1998
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Fitness Fusion

By Puja Thakur
I am just an ordinary person like you, in my late 20s with a lot of insecurities about getting old and looking ugly. In today’s world, beauty and fitness is big business, one in which we are all struggling to survive.

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Chori Mera Kaam!

The Indian film industry, especially Bollywood, has been in the forefront producing movies based on foreign 'inspirations'. And once in a while, as in case of the F C Mehra film, 'Khoon Khoon' (1973) directly lifted from the 1972 Hollywood blockbuster,

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Positive Reinforcement Training

By Elizabeth Abraham
Dogs don’t care about money or your nice car or your big house. They care about food… and praise. Positive reinforcement training uses food treats and/or praise to reward your dog for doing something you want him to do.

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Goa High On Obesity

By Poorvi Sardar | NT BUZZ
One of the major lifestyle diseases, obesity, which hit the west, especially the US, is all set to haunt Indians and more specifically, Goa, the fourth smallest of India by population. As shocking as it might seem,

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Health is wealth

 By Joe Mascarenhas
It is often stated that ‘Health is wealth’, but, perhaps our jaded palates do find it a trifle difficult to enjoy a salad or an organic main course with relish.

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